2023 Staff Picks: Historical Fiction

By Skokie Staff Advisory Services

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

  • Lady Tan's Circle of Women

    2023 by See, Lisa

    I loved this moving story of a female doctor struggling to practice medicine while also fulfilling her role as a proper Confucian wife in 15th century China. However, it was almost impossible for those two parts of her to exist simultaneously. It was beautiful to watch Tan Yunxian accept her whole self. Suggested by Michelle.

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  • The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store

    2023 by McBride, James

    It isn't often that you pick up a book and realize that you're reading a future classic. Working in every register from suspense to jeremiad to knockabout comedy, McBride has written a book about America and who gets to be an American. The action occurs almost entirely in the 1920s and '30s, yet he's speaking to the present day. We loved how the characters came alive, especially Chona and Dodo. Suggested by Andrew and Beth.

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  • Weyward

    2023 by Hart, Emilia

    I could not stop reading this intergenerational story of feminine and natural power told by three related women from 1619 to the present. A witch trial, domestic violence, childhood neglect and abuse, and the power of women and nature to rise above--spellbinding! Suggested by Christie.

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  • Dust Child

    2023 by Nguỹên, Phan Qúê Mai

    A beautifully written, suspenseful family saga about family secrets, hidden trauma, and the overriding power of forgiveness, set during the war and in present-day Vietnam. I learned a lot from reading this novel, especially about the Amerasian Homecoming Act. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • Good Night, Irene

    2023 by Urrea, Luis Alberto

    Based on his mother’s wartime service during WWII, I loved this effecting, deeply moving masterpiece of war, trauma and unsung heroes. The story of the Clubmobile Corps is not well known, and Urrea gives these women the epic telling they earned. Suggested by Lynnanne.

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